11 retail shops portfolio in Sim Lim Square for sale for S$21 million

Knight Frank Singapore announced on July 23rd that it has been appointed as the exclusive marketing agent of a 11 retail shops portfolio for sale via Expression of Interest (EOI).

The guide price for all 11 retail shops portfolio is S$21 million, which works out to approximately S$4,134 per square foot (psf).

The retail shops are prime, central podium facing units on the 5th floor of Sim Lim Square, an iconic retail complex for electronics and IT products. The total strata area of the 11 retail shops portfolio is approximately 5,080 sq ft, with unit sizes ranging from 291 sq ft to 506 sq ft.

Mr Ian Loh, Head of Capital Markets (Land & Building, Collective & Strata Sales), Knight Frank Singapore, says, “Sim Lim Square has always been synonymous with electronic goods and IT services, and continues to draw a niche crowd that loves its unique charm and stature. In spite of the changing technological landscape that has brought consumers online, there is still no beating the touch and feel of items at a live marketplace, where consumers know will offer competitive prices.

“The prime location of the units offered are hard to come by, with the last transaction for 5th floor, podium facing units going for more than S$5,300 psf in April 2020. Parties interested in acquiring the units have the flexibility of snapping up the units individually, or as an entire portfolio.”

The 99-year leasehold mall enjoys street frontage along Rochor Canal Road, Prinsep Street, Bencoolen Street and Albert Street. It is located immediately beside Rochor MRT station on the Downtown Line. Accessibility is further enhanced by its proximity to major arterial roads and expressways such as Rochor Road, Victoria Street, the Central Expressway (CTE) and East Coast Parkway (ECP).

As it is a commercial property, the sale of the 11 retail shops portfolio is open to both locals and foreigners, with no Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty imposed on the purchase of the properties.

The EOI for the 11 retail shops portfolio will close on Tuesday, 25 August 2020, at 3pm.

Sim Lim Square recently failed at its second en bloc tender attempt. Sim Lim Square failed in its en bloc attempt as there were no bids at the close of its second tender on Dec 30 last year.

Sim Lim Square failed in its second attempt at en bloc tender despite owners of the strata-titled mall keeping the reserve price unchanged at more than $1.25 billion but with the added sweetener of another 27 per cent of built-up space plus the possibility of lower development charges.

11 retail shops portfolio
The total strata area for the 11 retail shops portfolio is approximately 5,000 sq ft

Mr Francis Tan, chief investment officer of real estate consultancy SLP Scotia said explaining why Sim Lim Square failed in its second try said, “we just have to go out for the tender for one final push before expiry of the collective sale agreement in March 2020.”

The popular six-storey strata-titled retail mall has 492 individual units with a total strata floor area of approximately 236,881 sq ft, excluding common areas such as the basement car park and common corridor. The currently approved total gross floor area is 391,002 sq ft. The discovery of an extra 27 per cent built-up space will raise the total gross floor area to 499,715 square feet.

The marketing agent, SLP Scotia, said that the extra space as seen in the planning documents, could be the result of some land being surrendered for road reserve. It said this could be a reason for the apparent higher built-up area in the building, subject to verification and approval from the authorities.

The site is also zoned for commercial use with a plot ratio of 4.2. The 31-year-old building which was completed in 1987 is located at the junction of Rochor Canal Road and Bencoolen Street.

Sim Lim Square’s first en bloc try in April last year failed as well. The first collective sale via public tender was put up with a reserve price of $1.25 billion. Sim Lim Square owners each stood to receive between $488,000 and $67.5 million if the sale had gone through. More than 80 per cent of the 423 owners consented to the sale in March. Sim Lim Square owners had initially asked for $1.1 billion, but this was raised to $1.3 billion in February.

Sim Lim Square failed at its second attempt at en bloc sale with an asking price in excess of $1.25 billion, and the tender closed on Dec 30, 2019.

SLP Scotia, said developers can explore converting Sim Lim Square into a mixed-use development with a hotel and office space, due to its “unique and strategic location at the apex of the Ophir-Rochor Corridor, which is part of the expanded downtown area”.

“Interested developers could explore converting Sim Lim Square to other uses, taking advantage of the latest URA incentive scheme, the Strategic Development Incentive scheme,” added SLP Scotia.

Mr Vikas Gupta, chairman of the collective sales committee speaking on behalf of the Sim Lim Square owners said in April that the site is “currently heavily underutilised and the strata system does not allow Sim Lim Square to utilise the spare space.” He added, “It’s the ideal time to refresh Sim Lim Square.”

Salleh Marican, the founding Chairman and CEO of Second Chance Properties Ltd, which owns 12 commercial units in Sim Lim Square, said last year that he was not confident if they can get 80 percent of the signatures to move to the next stage of the en bloc.

If the Sim Lim Square had not failed its second en bloc attempt, owners of the largest units could get as much as $60 million, while the smaller ones may get about $500,000. Mr Salleh himself stands to gain about $30 million from a successful collective sale.

Written by Ravi Chandran

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